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(photo credit: MELANIE LIDMAN)
No strategic consideration is of greater importance to Israel than whether post-revolutionary Egypt will follow the path of post-revolutionary Iran. Should the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak be replaced by an extremist Islamic one, Israel will face a two-pronged threat: one from its southern border and the other from Egypt’s nuclear program - one of the regions most advanced. However, in order to weigh the prospects of whether Egypt is fated for democracy or theocracy, the discussion must transcend the present hegemonic focus on whether Islam is somehow a barrier to democracy. Examining other countries’ transitions unearths recurring conditions necessary to establishing democracy following the overthrow of dictatorship.